The Yellow Mug to Open at former Green House Coffee space
Valley Mobley was 17 when she first visited a coffee shop near her home in North Carolina. She instantly felt at home, she said. “I hadn’t realized there were places like this, where you could either be at peace by yourself or connect with other people.” She knew right away that she wanted to own such a place some day. She took jobs in coffee shops to learn the business and always enjoyed her work.
Years went by, and after she moved to the area two years ago, she applied to work at Green House Coffee. Everything about the experience confirmed she was on the right track. “Camille (former owner Camille Phillips) and I talked about it off and on,” Mobley said. “She was considering a change, especially after the pandemic.” Early last spring, the timing seemed right, and the women worked out an agreement. She credits members of her large family—many of whom have lived in the area for years—for pitching in with the cleaning, painting and landscaping necessary to make the transition.
The lessons Mobley learned from Phillips were invaluable, she said: creating a welcoming space, serving the community with kindness and flexibility, offering quality products. There will be changes, though, she said. The Yellow Mug will not offer breakfast and lunch, but will have a wider selection of coffee drinks and a number of locally baked pastries. Albemarle Baking Company is on board to supply baked goods, as is Fox Hollow to provide gourmet cookies. She also hopes to have the muffins and other pastries made by Cou Cou Rachou. Her coffee will be roasted by the folks at Coffee Corner, who are friends.
Mobley’s hoping the changes will make it easier to operate the business with limited staff. “I think it will also make the place seem quieter and less hurried,” she said. Since there’s no meal service, she’ll be able to invite people to stay a while, linger over their coffee and pastries while they study, work, or visit with friends. She’ll be open every day except Sunday, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Watch Mobley’s Instagram (yellowmugcoffee) for the opening date.
Why “The Yellow Mug?” “My mom has a yellow mug that kind of became the mug I drank out of all the time,” she said. “I still do, when I visit.”
Julie Ellyn Designs Opens October 22
In the space formerly used by Trey Wilkerson for his expanded Trey’s Restaurant, Julie Ter Borg will present a variety of fine homemade jewelry and gifts. Although a newcomer to Crozet (she’s been here a year) Ter Borg is not a stranger to either quality bead and precious metal craft or retail sales. Products of her beautifully designed and carefully worked bracelets, necklaces and earrings were sold through her online store and at her bricks-and-mortar shop in Bel Air, Maryland. Among her enthusiastic patrons are movie and television stars, media curators of local “best gift” guides, and fashionistas.
Ter Borg said she came from a long line of “makers,” although most of them also had other employment. She trained as a scientist, but was able to focus on her business full time after the simplicity and beauty of her designs made her reasonably priced jewelry popular among the budget conscious as well as celebrities.
Ter Borg believes Crozet will benefit from more retail shops: “I want people to be able to pick up a birthday gift, a beautiful bracelet or a house warming present without leaving town,” she said. She’ll feature candles, soaps, and children’s toys as well as gifts made by local artisans.
She’s one of several women entrepreneurs working to add to the color and life of downtown Crozet, while offering an outlet for cottage industries. She’s also a big believer in the power of small kindnesses, not only gifts, but a sweet word, a welcoming gesture or a well-timed compliment. “It’s the little things that count,” she said.
Artists Gather for Fall Events
Two venerable fall festivals draw artists and art lovers to the area in early October. The Crozet Arts and Crafts Festival, now in its 43rd year, will bring 120 artists, fine craftsmen, food trucks, musicians and fans to Crozet Park October 8 and 9, beginning at 10 a.m. Tickets are online at crozetfestival.com. Across the mountain in Waynesboro, the Virginia Fall Foliage Festival Art Show boasts 150 artists and artisans. That festival has been drawing sizable crowds for 51 years. Both are outdoors and begin at 10 a.m. Saturday and continue through Sunday. There is no charge for admission at the Waynesboro event.
Waynesboro’s “Apple Days,” scheduled for October 1 and 2, were postponed due to bad weather until October 15 and 16. That yearly celebration, in its 47th year, features all kinds of crafts as well as vendors peddling apple dumplings, barbecued chicken, kettle corn and candy. Some of the food offerings are for the benefit of local nonprofits.
Meanwhile, the exhibit over at the Crozet Artisan Depot presents mother and son artists, with a meet-the-artist event October 8 at 1 p.m. Alison and Chris Bachman are featured through October. Alison specializes in acrylics on canvas, capturing local landscapes as well as wildlife.
Chris creates creates pottery using porcelain, stoneware, and low-fire clays. He combines his passion for pottery with another passion: many of his pots provide homes for his growing bonsai collection.
Delly Up is the name of Waynesboro’s newest restaurant, a sandwich shop downtown on the corner of Main and Wayne Streets slated to open shortly. It’s the newest venture by Mandi Smack, whose opening of River City Burgers a few years ago followed her first local venture, Blue Mountain Brewery, both wildly successful.
On October 9, Bluebird and Co. presents local author, Dr. Martin Katz. He’ll read from his new book, Making a Magnificent You, a playful lesson in nutrition for young children. The event begins at 1, and books will be available for signing. Several other authors will appear during the month, and you can also make a fabric pumpkin, start your novel, explore watercolors, get a spray tan, and practice yin yoga, among other events. Find out what and when they are at bluebird crozet.com.